Charan Gill Grant


CHARAN GILL, O.B.C.
8597 187th Street Surrey, BC V4N-6C8
(604) 834-4088 - charanpalgill@gmail.com

Profile:
Born in 1939 in Hong Kong, Mr. Charan Gill came to Canada as a young man with a mission to advance what have now become our defining values as Canadians. Charan Gill has had a lifelong commitment to social justice. His pioneering work in social activism is considered by many as ground- breaking. Indeed, Mr. Gill’s body of work has touched thousands and inspired hundreds. In the 1970s, Mr. Gill co-founded the Canadian Farm Workers Union to advocate for basic rights for farm workers; and when hate groups were vying to gain a foothold in Canada, Mr. Gill created the BC Organization to Fight Racism, which has been instrumental in the fight against racism. In the 1980s, Mr. Gill founded the Progressive Indo- Canadian Community Services Society (PICS), as the first social services agency of its kind, PICS works to reduce barriers for visible minorities, support youth-at-risk, combat abuse against seniors, and provide transition support for immigrant women and children feeling violence. Today PICS has over 100 staff, a multi-million-dollar budget, and includes the Multicultural Extended Care and Seniors Housing Complex. For his leadership and on-going contributions to Canada, Mr. Gill was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws by Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2013 and the Order of British Columbia in 1999. It is timely that Mrs. And Mr. Gill are duly recognized for their long-long achievements and community involvement.

Education:

  • Master of Social Work, UBC, Vancouver, B.C., 1983
  • Registered Social Worker, UBC, and B.C.A.S.W., 1970
  • Master of Arts, Major – Punjabi, Punjab University, 1959

Career Synopsis:

  • Since 1987, as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS), oversaw 130 staff and a multi-million-dollar budget for PICS and the PICS Multicultural Extended Care and Seniors Housing Complex. As the first social services agency of its kind, PICS broke new ground to reduce barriers for visible minorities, youth-at-risk, abuse against seniors, and transition support for immigrant women and children feeling violence.
  • Prior to 1982, worked as a certified social worker with the Government of British Columbia to support vulnerable groups all over the province and developed and implemented a broad range of programs for adults and children including family service and protection, residential treatment facilities, mentally handicapped, worked closely with Indigenous communities including in Prince Rupert and its surrounding reserves, and led workshops on teaching foster parent skills.

Community Engagement:

  • Director, New Horizon for Seniors Program
  • Chairperson, Society for Sustainable Agriculture Jobs and Education
  • Executive Member, BC Human Rights Coalition
  • Director, Farm and Ranch Safety Health Association (FARSHA)
  • Director, Pacific National Exhibition & BC Pavilion Corporation
  • Director, Rainbow Community Health Co- operative
  • Co-Founder, Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Farmworkers Union
  • Board Member, BC Non-Profit Housing Association

Achievements:

  • Recipient, the Order of British Columbia in 1999
  • Recipient, Honorary Doctor of Laws, Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2013
  • Recipient, Top 25 Immigrants in Canada Award, in 2010
  • Recognized in the House of Commons by Mr. Don Davies, MP in 2011
  • Recipient, Distinguished Service Award, the BC Association for Social Workers in 2011
  • Recipient, Operation Remembrance Award by RCMP in 2006
  • Recipient, United Way’s VanDusen Community Service Award in 2002
  • Recipient, Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002
  • Recipient, Paul Harris Fellow, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International
  • President/Organizer, B.C. Organization to Fight Racism
  • Foster Parent, 10+ years